BEFORE I got married, I lived near a beautiful lady who was divorced. It never occurred to me that a good looking woman like her could be dumped by any man.Later on I started to assume thatmaybe thelady was divorced because of marital misconduct, or perhaps she left her husband because he was a womanizer or someone abusive. We shall come back to my two guesses later,but for now let’s just say marriage is wonderful, and hope someone says, ‘Amen’.

Marriage is wonderful because every person has a longing for a loving companionshipof the opposite sex,and out of such a relationship a couple may have children as a bonus, another human longing that many dream of. Children are an extension of our genes by which we preserve our family lineage and help sustain the human race. Marriage is so wonderful that people fight over it if they fail to resolve matters with civility. And if you ask me, couples need to fight for their marriage using every arsenal at their disposal; be it spiritual, social or economic. Watch the American Christian movie, ‘War Room,’ by the Kendrick brothers, and pick some strategies to fight for your marriage.

Marriage also caters for some financial or economic support in some cases, or social prestige in others. An old man was advising a young lady to pursue her PHD studies and also find a boy-friend to be her future husband,because one without the other still leaves a void in many of us.

You see, when God created man He said that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created for him a woman helper, that’s according to the Biblical accounts. And when the man saw the woman for the first time, he said, ‘This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman.’Again the Bible has this to say, ‘Two are better than one…When they lay together theycan keep warm… and a cord of three strands cannot easily be broken…’ Ecclesiastes 4 v 9-12 has irrefutable claim that two are better than one. So I think that I have established that marriage is good and desirable.

But when we say ‘Marriage is not everything’, we are reminded of that colloquial saying that ‘Marriage is like a cage where those inside want to get out, while the ones outside want toget in.’

In 2020, for example,more than 20,000 Zambian marriages were dissolved in courts alone. And these are the ones reported by the media. We may have others that went unreported and still other couples just endured to live in a hostile relationship, waiting for the opportune time to jump out. In 2018 or thereabout, and if my memory serves me right, we had scores of murders cases coming from unresolved marital disputes. If marriage was everything, we could not have so many harrowing stories like the two cases above.Marriage is not everything because someone can stay single and still be happy and contented. All that one needs is an income to support oneself, good friends and good books to read every day. Associating yourself with a church or mosque is a very good idea.

Marriage is not everything and some people even call it ‘Shipikisha club’(a social club of hardship) to denote that there’s a lot of endurance in marriage. Which brings me to my premise about the beautiful lady who was divorced. Marriage and beauty don’t sail in the same boat. A man divorced his wife and immediately after leaving the courtroom another man got her and married her. A man can have a beautiful wife but still go for a sidechick. A woman can have everything she needs at home but goes to bed with a garden boy. We live in a crazy world indeed.

People get out of marriage for many reasons. This is when they reach ‘irreconcilable differences,’ as we are told every day. A woman can sue for divorce if the man becomes reckless and unrepentant. A man can leave a nagging woman if she’s driving him crazy at every turn. But around all this seemingly marital circus and alarming figures of divorce and gender based violence, we find that marriage is an essential sector of our humanness and we need it today as we have always done. It’s a necessary risk worth taking. If you have the chance of getting married, grab it with both hands and do everything you can to make it work. If for some reasons your marriage is rocky, don’t ditch the boat, watch the War Room movie and thank me later. Thank you for reading.

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